1966 Porsche Carrera 906E

This superbly presented Porsche Carrera 6 began life as the Racing Team Holland car campaigned in World Championship of Makes-qualifying races by Ben Pon and fellow Dutchman Gijs van Lennep. The first time out at significant level in this 2-liter 6-cylinder air-cooled coupe, they finished seventh overall and first in class in the ADAC 1,000-kilometer race at Nurburgring. After winning a home event outright on the Dutch Zandvoort circuit, Ben Pon was asked to partner with works driver Vic Elford in the 1967 Le Mans Grand Prix d’Endurance.

That race was to provide Elford with his first experience of the French 24-Hour classic, and he and Ben Pon finished seventh overall. At the end of that season, Ben Pon shared this car with another British driver, Tony Dean, and won the 2-liter sports category again, this time in the BOAC 1,000-kilometer at Brands Hatch.

Porsche 906 ‘134’ was subsequently sold into amateur ownerships and reportedly “suffered one indignity after another at the hands of novices trying to keep it competitive.” Ultimately it came to light in South America, being located in derelict order by Marty Yacoobian. The car was brought into the United States and sold to Bruce Canepa, the well-known restorer in Santa Cruz, California.

What followed was a mammoth 4,000-hour restoration that has been described as producing the most technically correct restoration of a 906.

When introduced in 1966, the Porsche 906 – marketed generally as the ‘Carrera 6’ – combined a multitubular spaceframe chassis with strikingly low and curvaceous lightweight fiberglass body paneling aimed at minimum drag. The engine was a racing version of the production 911 air-cooled 6-cylinder unit. This 901/20 variant’s crankcase was cast in lightweight magnesium instead of aluminium, and its pistons, connecting rods, cylinder barrels and valve gear were all redesigned. With single overhead camshafts atop each cylinder bank, the new engine actually weighed 54kg (110 lbs.) less than the standard 911 unit. Transmission was via a 5-speed all-sychromesh transaxle with ZF limited-slip differential. The Porsche 906 became yet another classic in the German marque’s enduring competition history – the model’s record including outright victory in the legendary Sicilian Targa Florio race.